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A rainy day in Rio and visitors to the city arrive at the base of Corcovado, to be greeted with the sight of only more clouds and not a glimpse of Christ the Redeemer in sight. The winter months in Rio (technically from July to July) do not call for gloves, scarves or fur lined boots, but there certainly days when an afternoon on the beach looks less than inviting. VisitingRioat this time of year can be a wise option for those who can’t abide the sweltering temperatures of 40 degrees or more, common from December to February. However, should you choose to visit once things have cooled down after carnival, be aware that in addition to the pleasant sunny days of an agreeable 25 degrees, you may be unlucky and score a few when the temperature drops as low as a chilly 18, and locals, or Cariocas, start donning those boots and scarves (so excited are they to finally get a chance to use them) as the sky remains definitively overcast.

Nevertheless, this does not necessarily imply you should be confined to the hotel spa for the day (as terrible a prospect as that would be) as despite Rio’s most well known attractions being based around its no less than spectacular natural setting, the city also offers the range of cultural (or indoor) activities you would expect from a dwelling of its size. Though often ignored in favour of outdoor pursuits when temperatures rise, such activities are most welcome when Rio puts on its raincoat.

Last Friday, the 20th edition of ‘Anima mundi’ began in Rio, running until the 22nd of this month, after which it moves toSão Paulo. The world’s 2nd largest animated film festival (second only is the French equivalent in Annecy), the event began some 20 years ago with just over 100 films on show in two tiny crowded rooms. Today it boasts some 448 films from all over the world, on show at eight different theatres in various cultural centres dotted around the city’s centre and Rio’s Zona Su

Despite animation still often being thought of as the reserve of those not yet in double figures, the majority of films on show carry 14 plus classifications, not least Czech director Michaela Pavlàtovà’s, erotic short ‘Tram’ which depicts the inner fantasies of a female tram driver and caused a stir at Cannes directors fortnight in May. Showcasing both shorts and feature length animations, some of the festival’s highlights in the former category include David Fain’s ‘Choreography for plastic army men’, which features toy soldiers getting down to the sound of Pink Martini; while in the full length category, Ignacio Ferreras ‘Wrinkles’, based on Paco Roca’s comic of the same name and winner of Spain’s coveted ‘Goya’ for best screenplay, invites the audience into the unexpected setting of an elderly care home, where friendship and humour tell a tender story of resistance.

Amongst the Brazilian entries, Marcelo Marão’s endearing short ‘I would like to be a monster’ (Queria ser um monstro) begs a mention, as does Rogerio Viella’s ‘Lies are told in July’ (Mentiras são contadas em julho), in which a boy who dreams of flying is found resting on Christ the Redeemer’s arm. In addition to the vast array of films on offer, the ten day event boasts lectures from those in the business, master classes giving an insight into the making of the films and the opportunity to appear in your very own animated film as part of the 12i installation.

Further details about the program can be found on the official site’s English version: http://www.animamundi.com.br/

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